Health department says influenza activity continues to rise in Minnesota

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: January 2, 2014 - 7:19 PM

The Minnesota Department of Health says the flu is now widespread across Minnesota.

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mattmoscJan. 2, 14 3:31 PM

I would like to know of those 71 that were hospitalized, how many of them had the flu vaccine?

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kellyb12Jan. 2, 14 4:08 PM

@mattmosc It would be interesting to find out, but I'm not sure if H1N1 was a strain included in this year's vaccine, so if it is the most common strain, it may not make a difference. Can somebody fill me in? Was H1N1 included in the vaccine this year?

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rexmagicJan. 2, 14 4:59 PM

You can still get the flu, and even the one the vaccine is developed for if you got the shot. The only difference is the symptoms won't be as severe. I know--I got the shot in the fall, and just got over having the flu for 5 days.

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wallinmJan. 2, 14 5:03 PM

If H1N1 was not included in the vaccine, then they should not include a photo of someone getting the vaccine with this article. I also agree that the article should not how many of the people who are being treated for the flu got the vaccine.

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Rallen1225Jan. 2, 14 5:34 PM

Yes, @mattmosc and @kellyb12: H1N1 was included in this year's vaccine: same strain that hit hard in 2009. There were two types of vaccines this year: (1) the traditional flu shots that fight three strains of flu viruses, two “A” strains and one “B” strain; and (2) a shot that fights four strains. The FDA updates the vaccine to include the kinds of flu they think will be most likely to make people sick during the upcoming season. Keyword: "think" because the B strains are harder to predict by the FDA. No flu shot guarantees that you won't get sick: but they do a good job of protecting children and the elderly. Would have been helpful for the article to expand on its reporting...

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MellersJan. 2, 14 6:04 PM

kellyb12: I think it's now added routinely each year. I know I asked about it around 2-3 years ago, the year after the major outbreak and I think that's what the nurse told me.

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actualreaderJan. 2, 14 6:08 PM

Well, here's the info from the CDC on the composition of this year's vaccine: "The WHO Vaccine Composition MeetingExternal Web Site Icon was held on February 21, 2013, at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. On February 27, 2013, VRBAC met and approved for the United States the following WHO-recommended composition for the Northern Hemisphere 2013-2014 influenza vaccineExternal Web Site Icon: an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus; an A(H3N2) virus antigenically like the cell-propagated prototype virus A/Victoria/361/2011; a B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus. Compared to the 2012-2013 seasonal influenza vaccine, the H1N1 component is the same, the H3N2 component is the same*, and the B component is different.

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DanielDayJan. 2, 14 7:44 PM

Sad but true: I know a long-time smoker who was just diagnosed with CPOD after a bout with the flu took her in to the doctor. When asked if she had a flu shot, she said no, because flu shots are too dangerous.

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reidJan. 2, 1410:27 PM

The basic fact is that influenza vaccination is the most important thing you can do to reduce your chance of getting influenza, or if you do get it, have a shorter, milder case. The very expensive medications will only lesson the disease slightly, but are still worth trying if you get the true influenza, not this stomach and diarrhea stuff also in the communities. The shots are extremely low risk. Nothing in life is zero risk. If you've never had influenza and think it is a bad case of a cold or just being inconvenienced for a day or two and you can watch TV, play cards or catch up on computer stuff while you hare home from work, think again. For young, healthy, adults, it is a miserable condition. For the young, the old and the medically compromised, it indeed can be your death knell. It's still not too late, but the time to get a few weeks of boosting your body's natural immune system reaction to help fend off the virus if you're exposed (and it looks like we'll have a very substantial risk of that this year) is now and soon. Go to a pharmacy, clinic, or health department that is offering shots today. If you're afraid of needles, I can say mine was not even uncomfortable, certainly not painful.

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dragon2000Jan. 3, 14 4:04 AM

I was exposed all day, to 2 families with the flu, 4 days ago. Not sure about incubation times, but I think I'm clear after 96+ hours. Why? I'm dirty. I'm not a big hand-washer, I avoid anti-bacterial soaps and detergents, I'm not scared of bugs. As a result, my immune system gets exposed to all kinds of pathogens, and knows how to fight them off extremely well. All the perceived "safety" of the anti-bacterial chemicals is doing, is making bacteria heartier, and immune systems weaker. The plague is coming soon, count on it.

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